This is one of those sigh-worthy historical romances that weaves a mesmerizing tale peopled by memorable characters who are honed by intense events. It is difficult to walk that fine line between creating caricatures and realistic persons who one roots for and sympathizes with, yet this author seems to do so with ease. My heart ached for the issues that separated these two quietly stubborn individuals even as I was impressed by the depth of character that each displayed as they dealt with the challenges that they faced apart and together. The sobering picture of the plight of women who were at the mercy of parents, husbands or even slave owners is nicely woven into a story that gives a vivid picture of a society in flux. Unfortunately, I have not read all of the compelling tales in this series but I had no problem reading this particular story as a standalone and the glimpses of those who have undoubtedly starred in their own tales gave a nice picture of their current situations even as it tempted one to look for the other books in the series. I am definitely anxious to read about Laurel’s brother’s adventures and looking forward to him receiving his own well-deserved happiness but I also really want to go back and fill in the blanks about some of the other charismatic folks who have cameos in this tale. This is another example of this delightful author’s ability to pen a compelling and romantic story brought to life by the depth of detail that she provides and I look forward to reading her other works.
“Not Quite a Wife” by Mary Jo Putney is part of the ‘Lost Lords’ series and is the poignant tale of James, Lord Kirkland, and his estranged wife, Laurel Herbert. Despite a ten-year separation and a marked difference in lifestyles, the two discover that there is still a connection between them, however reluctant one of them is to acknowledge it. When they are forced into closer proximity, subsequent events force them to evaluate whether they truly are incompatible or more connected in their beliefs than either of them realized.
Marry in haste, repent at leisure.
James, Lord Kirkland, owns a shipping fleet, half a London gaming house, and is a ruthlessly effective spymaster. He is seldom self-indulgent. . .except when it comes to the gentle, indomitable beauty who was once his wife.
Laurel Herbert gave James her heart as an innocent young girl--until she saw him perform an act of shocking violence before her very eyes. That night she left her husband, and he let her go without a word of protest.
Now, ten years later, a chance encounter turns passionate, with consequences that cannot be ignored. But as they try to rebuild what was broken, they must face common enemies and a very uncommon love...